A campus-wide email was sent out by Iowa State President Steven Leath Tuesday afternoon regarding the recent completion of an internal audit of the ISU Flight Services by the Board of Regents.
After it came to light that ISU's Cirrus SR22 single-engine plane had faced damages while Leath was flying it, questions arose over his use of the plane. With the completion of the audit, it was determined that no policies had been violated.
“I take very seriously my role and responsibility to adhere to university and Board of Regents policy and to be open and transparent. That is why I welcomed the Board’s decision to conduct a comprehensive internal audit, and I offered my full cooperation,” Leath said in the opening lines of his email.
Despite the lack of technical violations, Leath admitted to some missteps on his part and in his statement has put forward several plans of action in order to improve current procedures and “avoid any perception of impropriety.”
Leath said that first and foremost, he has taken on several costs related to his plane use. He has paid for his use of a university plane when receiving his instrumental flight rating as well as two trips he took to a clinic in Minnesota for medical procedures.
Leath's plane use has received an abundance of coverage, many questioning the personal aspects of his travels.
In one instance, Leath picked up his brother and his sister-in-law from Elmira, New York in order to bring them to an Iowa State basketball game. The stop was ultimately classified as a fuel stop.
The cost of transporting his relatives has also been paid off by Leath. One of the first measures of the new procedures to be set in place is that Leath will no longer fly the university’s planes.
And with the retirement of one of Iowa State’s three pilots, Cirrus will be sold.
Other plans are set in place to look into making the ISU Flight Services more cost efficient as well as starting more accurate logs and records of flight usage, according to the email.
Leath took the rest of his statement to explain his purpose for using the plane in the first place, which is to meet with donors across the country in a more efficient way, and apologize for his faults.
“I recognize now that I used the university planes more frequently than was absolutely necessary, and I should have been more transparent about my use,” Leath said.